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reelect president obama actually be willing to hurt the economy and hurt the obama economy at a time when you've got a big backlash against unions? worry on the part of the public about pension costs for government employees. michigan passing a right to work law so you don't have to join a union in one of the most unionized states anywhere and demise of twinkies when a bakers union refused to accept any concessions at all on retirement costs. it is always money at heart of the these disputes and unions seem to be getting harder and harder edged about this. let's remember unions represent less than 7% of the private workforce in this nation. they represent 40% of the government workers. here we've got a private union strike that could happen starting this coming sunday t could be crippling. which means they will sell it fast. heather: neither said no to renewing talks. the national trade associations, they have even appealed to president obama use the taft-hartley injunction to hold off this strike for 80 days. >> reporter: right. to force them to get back to the table and negotiate.
done because as he heard joe lieberman said, the consequences would be huge. the economy could potentially slip back into recession. the white house has described this as a working vacation for president obama, but the reality is that negotiations are largely deadlocked on all sides. there have been a few talks going on at the staff level, but the real bulk of this work is going to get done when lawmakers return to washington later this week after the christmas holiday and resume manageses. that's when we're going to see the focus really shift away from the house and on to the senate. of course, speaker boehner tried to get his plan b, alternative bill through the house. republicans rejected that, couldn't get enough votes for it. it was really a blow to speaker boehner. now we see the focus shift to the senate. senate majority leader harry reid, minority leader mitch mcconnell will try to hammer out a deal and by all accounts, it will be a smaller deal, thomas. >> nbc's kristen welker traveling with the president in hawaii. kristen, thanks so much. joining us to talk about the
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